Launchpad: Revolution '67

Activity One. Protest: Why and How?

A. Imagine that the local or federal government has passed the following laws and respond to the questions below.

  • 8 p.m. curfew for all teenagers
    • Do you support this law? Why or why not?
    • If you do not support this law, would you do something to complain about or protest the law? What would you do?
    • If you would not complain or protest, why not?
  • Military draft for all students over age 18
    • Do you support this law? Why or why not?
    • If you do not support this law, would you do something to complain about or protest the law? What would you do?
    • If you would not complain or protest, why not?
  • Abolition of Social Security
    • Do you support this law? Why or why not?
    • If you do not support this law, would you do something to complain about or protest the law? What would you do?
    • If you would not complain or protest, why not?

 

B. Watch Revolution ’67, video clip 1: “July 12, 1967: The Spark.”

After watching video clip, reflect on the questions below:

  • What do you think the people in the film were protesting about?
  • What methods of protest did they use?
  • What questions do you have about these events?

 

C. Read this excerpt from the Kerner Commission report on Newark and answer the questions below.

  • What were the major causes of Newark’s urban unrest?
  • What were at least 3 major community and political actions that took place in the city of Newark during the 6 days of civil unrest in 1967?
  • How did these major community and political actions impact the city?

 

Activity 2. What Happened in July 1967? How Do We Know?

A. As you watch Revolution ’67, video clip 2: “National Guardsman: ‘Do I Believe There Were Snipers? Yes,’” answer the following questions:

  • What are the pros and cons of using eyewitness testimony and oral histories when researching an event?
  • In the film, how does the archival footage of police using automatic weapons challenge the National Guardsman’s assertion that he was fired upon by a sniper?
  • How does the Kerner Report treat Newark Police Director Spina’s testimony re: snipers

 

B. Use information from the Newark section of the Kerner Report and Revolution ’67 to complete the chart on the worksheet and answer the questions that follow.

  • Why did people riot or rebel in 1967?
  • Was it justifiable?
  • Was it a type of political action?
  • Do you think the historical interpretation of these events might have changed in fifty years? Why or why not?